At Any Cost Ch. 04


"I just saw Annie go up to her room." She announced, her eyes narrowed on Pete. He arched an eyebrow in return.

"Shared a late meal, is all."

"The girl's under my charge, Pete. You just leave her be."

"She's already carrying," he said, feeling anger thicken his blood. "She can't get into any more trouble than that."

Mrs. Barts sniffed, lifting her nose into the air. "I know men. Lusty creatures and she formally from a brothel -- It's not to be borne."

"Annie's safe from me."

"It's her I'm more worried about."

"Leave her be, Mrs. Barts. She's innocent."

"Oh, is that so. That must explain why she's pregnant out of wedlock."

"Shut your mouth, you silly hen." He grumbled and continued up the stairs. The housekeeper was a tiring old thing and he hoped Lady Trentham would consider hiring someone less uppity.


It was in the wee hours of the morning when a broken sound woke Vivian up. She turned in bed, thinking to snuggle closer to Derek only to be pushed away. Blinking in confusion, she found him thrashing in bed, his head bathed in sweat. He growled low in his throat then mumbled something incomprehensible.

Alarmed, Vivian reached out to touch his arm. He jerked in response, as if he'd been burned by her touch and hissed out loud.

"Derek, wake up." She said gently. "Please, wake up."

She started t shake him by the shoulder and he pushed at her. His fist was coming out straight for her and she gasped. Suddenly, he was awake and staring blankly at her for a long intense moment.

"Bloody hell," he whispered hoarsely. "Fucking hell."

He sat up, his hand loosening his grip on her arm. "Good lord, did I hurt you."

"No." She whispered, shaking her head. "You were having a you have them often?"

He buried his face in his hand. "Sometimes." He felt her cool hand touch his shoulder, smoothing away the tension there.

How he loathed the nightmares. He didn't have them often, not as often as the thoughts that haunted his mind during the day. The nightmares were darker, more violent and eerie. Usually they were about the ghosts of men he'd killed or had killed. Before, they'd taunt him, telling him how they looked forward to his joining them in hell. Now they threatened to take Vivian's life, as revenge for their own deaths. He'd been fighting them off in his nightmare when he woke up.

"Do you want to talk about it?" She asked soothingly. She leaned close to him, her naked body warm and inviting. Her invitation was more than tempting. He only shook his head.

"It's only a nightmare...everybody has them." He said huskily. He captured her mouth with his to stop any more questions.

Delving into her mouth, exploring her with his tongue, he started to bring her down to the bed until she was underneath him. Instinctively, her legs spread to wrap around his waist and he entered her.

Memories of his nightmare quickly faded in the ecstasy she brought him. He took her agonizingly slow, with deep thrusts each time. She made beautiful throaty sound each time the tip of his cock touched her womb and he'd pull back, almost all the way out and then slide back in. Her inner muscles stretched and tightened around his throbbing staff each time, pulling him in deeper, holding him.

Derek groaned as she lifted her pelvis to bring him in deeper. Vivian had become a quick study, learning quickly everything he'd taught her and becoming creative in other ways. As he buried himself into her, she rotated her hips, causing a delicious shiver to run through him.

Putting his weight on his knees, he started kisses from her mouth down her neck to her full breasts. He filled his hands with them and took each nipple into his mouth, twirling his tongue around the little tip, biting down softly. The soft cry from her lips only made him harder.

Her slender body arched to him as he paid homage to her breasts and he pulled her closer to him, thrusting inside her hard.

Closing his eyes, he moved over, reveling in the way her wetness coated him. Neither spoke as he made love to her, picking up the pace when she started to cry out. Then she bucked and came. Feeling her climax clench around his cock, Derek plunged into her.

He rolled onto his back, bringing her with him. He breathed in the smell of sex and the faint rose water that lingered in her hair. He lifted a lock of her hair and brought it to his nose. She smelled so sweet.

It suddenly jolted a memory in his mind. He had smelled roses in his nightmare, the one where his former associates in the underworld were threatening to seek revenge on him by harming Vivian. He'd smelled roses as he made his way home to ensure her safety, only to find her gone, taken away. He had panicked. He knew the men who'd taken her didn't demand ransom, but her life.

The nightmare left an ill feeling in the pit of his stomach. This one had his instincts up. Something was going to happen. He glanced down at his wife, now sleeping soundly with her head pillowed on his chest.

He cursed the nightmare. He cursed the gut feeling he had.

He would have to speak with Sykes and his men.

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